Environmental human fungal pathogen:the killers beside you
BAI Xiang-Zheng;WANG Lin-Qi;State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences;University of Chinese Academy of Sciences;
Invasive pathogenic fungi can cause life-threatening infections with generally high mortality rate. Notably, most of these fatal fungi are environmental fungal pathogens(EFGs), which normally thrive in certain environmental niches, and invading host is not necessary for their proliferation. It is increasingly appreciated that infections by EFGs are likely linked with their exceptional abilities to adapt to fluctuating stress from their natural niches. Moreover, EFGs can employ meiotic recombination-dependent/-independent strategies to promote microevolution, which underlie production of hyper-virulent and drug-resistant variants in nature. In this review, we focus on Cryptococcus neoformans(a model organism of EFGs), summarize the sophisticated environmental adaptation strategies facilitating its infections, and discuss the determinants engaged in the evolution of Cryptococcus virulence.